Hell: Derived from the Saxon helan, to cover; hence the covered or the
invisible place. In Scripture there are three words so rendered:
1. Sheol, occurring in the Old Testament sixty-five times. This
word sheol is derived from a root-word meaning "to ask,"
"demand;" hence insatiableness
(Proverbs 30:15,16) It is rendered
"grave" thirty-one times
(Genesis 37:35; 42:38; 44:29,31; 1 Samuel 2:6) etc.
The Revisers have retained this rendering in the historical
books with the original word in the margin, while in the
poetical books they have reversed this rule. In thirty-one cases
in the Authorized Version this word is rendered "hell," the
place of disembodied spirits. The inhabitants of sheol are "the
congregation of the dead"
(Proverbs 21:16) It is:
a. the abode of the wicked
(Numbers 16:33; Job 24:19; Psalms 9:17; 31:17)
b. of the good
(Psalms 16:10; 30:3; 49:15; 86:13) etc.
Sheol is described as:
c. with bars
d. The dead "go down" to it
(Numbers 16:30,33; Ezekiel 31:15,16,17)
2. The Greek word hades of the New Testament has the same scope of
signification as sheol of the Old Testament. It is a prison
(1 Peter 3:19) with gates and bars and locks
(Matthew 16:18; Revelation 1:18)
and it is downward
(Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15) The righteous and the
wicked are separated. The blessed dead are in that part of hades
(Luke 23:43) They are also said to be in
3. Gehenna, in most of its occurrences in the Greek New Testament,
designates the place of the lost
(Matthew 23:33) The fearful nature of
their condition there is described in various figurative
(Matthew 8:12; 13:42; 22:13; 25:30; Luke 16:24) etc.